Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Senator Lugar Leaves His Game on the Practice Field

It’s difficult to decide if Senator Lugar should be raked or thanked for his most recent view (Flashpoint, Feb. 11, 2007) on the disastrous Iraq war. He diminishes and detracts from the horror of this avoidable tragedy by toying with our minds through his use of sport analogies. Yet he is inching toward the exits in Iraq.

American’s don’t want to hear about war policies that are akin to “Hail Mary passes.” Stunned and grieving family members are offering up real prayers to Iraq war dead and those many thousands wounded for life. Their heroes and ours have not been part of any game.

And thoughtful Americans could care less about Lugar’s military “third down draw plays” and “punts.” Failed draw plays and inevitable punts are a strategy that in life and death terms mean extended tours of duty that send and keep Americans on an untenable field of battle, a field dotted with IEDs, a field of religious violence, a field that flows with the bloody cross-currents of civil war.

Regrettably Senator Lugar accepts Bush’s escalation of the war. He shows little enthusiasm in his stated view. Sadly, he’s ready to accept the pain and losses inherent in the policy of escalation and then he wants us to move on to his real proposal.

That proposal turns out to be a form of redeployment. Almost a year after Representative John Murtha (Dem. Penn.) put this forward, and now with every Democrat from Biden to Obama mouthing their support for it, Lugar offers up something that can only be classified as Murtha-lite.

We expect more from Senator Lugar. It is long past time to get out of where we never should have been. Lugar and Bayh played key roles in getting us into Iraq. When are they going to step up and play equally important roles in getting us out this tragic, once avoidable, mess?

And in response to the question: What should we do if we get out?

Here’s an agenda for Senator Lugar:

--He should be ready to support aid to Iraq after the Iraqis and history (and not Big Daddy America) sort out what kind of a country they want;

–He should be taking the lead in formulating an energy policy that gives us some leverage in the Middle-East;

–He should support the use of aggressive but wise coalition diplomacy in regard to Iran;

–He should make certain every vote he casts is for what America really stands for--liberty and freedom through example, not military adventurism.

But first of all Lugar should give up using simplistic sports analogies in the discussion of complex world political events and policies.


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